The National Health Insurance (NHI) proposals tabled last week have drawn a collective groan in South Africa so loud, that the echoes will not stop reverberating around the country. Criticism has poured in for the “universal health care system”, which hasn’t been well received outside of the ANC’s walls.
The loudest voice of opposition has come from directly across the political divide. Mmusi Maimane addressed a media briefing in Parliament on Tuesday, outlining the DA’s problems with the proposed legislation. But Maimane has come equipped with a few “solutions”, all of which he feels can successfully halt the NHI rollout.
Mmusi Maimane: How the DA will oppose NHI
Challenge the bill in a court of law
Quite simply, the DA are adamant that the full terms and conditions of the NHI Bill will ultimately stifle the human rights of all South Africans. They are seeking to block its implementation via a legal route, and they will engage Parliament in a bid to prevent these proposals from becoming a reality.
“After careful consideration of the Bill, we are not satisfied that it will pass constitutional muster and will therefore be requesting Parliament to seek a comprehensive legal opinion as to the constitutionality of the Bill in its current form – particularly in terms of Schedule 4of the Constitution.”
“We’ve written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Thandi Modise, urgently requesting that on behalf of Parliament she instructs the Parliamentary Legal Services to obtain a legal opinion on the Bill well before it appears before the Health Committee and eventually the House.”
[BREAKING] Leader @MmusiMaimane, has today written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, requesting that she instructs the Parliamentary Legal Services to obtain a legal opinion on the #NHIBill before it appears in the National Assembly. pic.twitter.com/aLhd2zR3nb
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) August 13, 2019
Conduct more risk analyses on NHI
The party are not convinced that the government have thought everything through with NHI. Although they are in favour of implementing a universal healthcare system, they say the ANC have got it wrong. Badly wrong…
“Should this Bill be passed in its current form, all South Africans will be the main causalities of this system. There are deep inequalities in the system. 84% of South Africans are dependent on an ailing health system with only 16% of our people who can afford private medical care.”
“The broader inequalities of insiders and outsiders in this country play themselves out painfully within the health system. In line with global trends, South Africa must move towards Universal Healthcare – however not in the form of NHI.”
Table an alternative health plan
Referred to as their Sizani Universal Healthcare Plan, the Blues have come with an alternative suggestion to what is being proposed by their political opponents. They suggest a model that would retain private healthcare but considerably improve the standards of government-funded treatment. Their planned interventions would include:
- Funding through the current budget envelope, which includes the tax benefit currently afforded to medical aid clients.
- Heavy investment in the provision of maternal and child health services.
- Reinforce the powers of provinces by ensuring they are adequately funded and equipped to provide quality healthcare to all.
Implement the model popular in the Western Cape
In typical fashion, the DA managed to squeeze a humble brag in here. They currently govern the Western Cape and the Cape Town Metropolitan Area, and have records that they like to “peacock” every once in a little while. The party believes that the rest of the country must follow their lead, and “Westernise” the way they operate:
“We would combine innovative healthcare solutions with clean, corrupt-free governance which ensures every cent is spent on services. In terms of access to healthcare, at 91.5%, the Western Cape has the highest percentage of households living with 30 minutes of the nearest health facility.”